planereality
Topic Author
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UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:29 pm

The contrast between flying a few foreign airlines and then returning to the United States to take 1 more flight to get home is always amusing. In this case, I bestowed the "last flight" honor on United Airlines. I received a complimentary upgrade which I was quite appreciative of. Was it a terrible experience? Absolutely not, but (no news here) not in the same league as many foreign airlines.

I knew where I was as soon as I was seated. The lead FA was shouting through the PA system telling boarding passengers to hurry up and sit down so we could leave on time. All the while UA deliberately delayed boarding because 1 crew member was M.I.A.

The meal was decent, but have had better on United. The sausage had the consistency of steak, but tasted like dinner sausage (?)
The indecipherable over-head monitor and bat phone are not disappointing, more comical than anything. The pilot was in the First Class cabin during boarding. I asked him if he would be broadcasting Channel 9. He replied that he would be happy to. To be fair, I took these pictures with my blackberry as opposed to my "good" camera.

the blue dot is our location at LAX; courtesy of the ipad












pre-departure beverage


breakfast






Andiamo!
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3941
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:48 pm

What type of United equipment were you so privileged to be flying?  
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
Fuzzman777
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:45 pm

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:30 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 1):
What type of United equipment were you so privileged to be flying?

Looks like a 757
 
planereality
Topic Author
Posts: 91
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:32 pm

757- Did not record reg.
Thanks!
Andiamo!
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3941
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:14 pm

Quoting Fuzzman777 (Reply 2):
Looks like a 757

I thought so, but wanted to be sure.

Thanks
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
jchalupsky
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:55 pm

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:46 am

I think I'd rather take Greyhound! I flew United F from OGG-LAX several years ago. We were on a 757 - did not record the registration (which is a good thing as I've tried to delete the memory). It's hard for me not to type untied.com when visiting united.com!

[Edited 2011-09-28 18:46:42]
 
nethkt
Posts: 1014
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:42 am

I'd rather take Greyhound too.
UA F is full of foolish upgraders, not really give you the premium atmosphere.
Horrid seats, hideous food and lousy service on 5 hours flight.
Pain in the a** to fly domestic US flights.  
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
christao17
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:03 am

Having lived outside the US for the past six years, I try as hard as I can to avoid flying US airlines when heading back home - regardless of class of service! The problem, of course, starts once I touch down in the US. Such a sad state of affairs.

In any case, thank you for your trip report. You captured the "glamor" of UA First very well. LOL
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
kfitz
Posts: 140
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:15 am

Those disparaging the product without any thought of the reality of the matter are just embarrassing themselves.

If some of you who insist on taking pot shots from other countries would stop to think for a second, or dared actually fly the product, youd understand that this is the typical donestic F experience offered on ever domestic carrier, and that really the seat is perfectly comfortable, arguably one of the more comfortable seats among US carriers. It's certainly better than the E seat with the middle blocked, which is all intra-europe F is. But of course admitting that to yourselves would get in the way of the little roast that it sounds like some of you live for.

This is the product you get when everybody wants F but nobody is willing to pay for it. What is UA to do? Invest heavily in a product that some of you from other countries who will never fly domestic F in the states deem to be "acceptable" (nevermind the fact your base of comparison is likely the long haul product offered by your respective home countries airline)? So roll out nothing less than lie flats in domestic F, nly to have people wanting to upgrade into it for free? Why waste your time when expectations for domestic F are what they are? Don't blame the airline for this experience, blame consumer demand.

I'm getting really tired of the pot shots being taken on US carriers domestic premium products from those who clearly have little to no understanding of the market, either because they are unable or unwilling to take the time to do so. Real easy to come and disparage the product online, harder to understand why it is the way it is.
 
tommy767
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:54 pm

Seems pretty typical. I'm not sure what's so terrible about UA's service in this trip report. If you flew AA on the same route you might have got a chocolate chip cookie at the end but that's about it. I find those F seats to be quite comfortable and in good shape.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
sulley
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:11 pm

Notice how clean those gaspers on the PSU are now -- thanks, MCO MX  

The PMUA 757's are old, but they are trusty workhorses. I actually agree with KFitz - Domestic First would be a lot nicer if people were actually willing to pay for it, but the airlines in the US have built a culture where elite flyers have come to expect upgrades for free on every flight.

The seats on the other hand, not a fan. The new leather is nice, but the "bat phone" makes them too narrow and the pitch is poor, especially in the first row.
In thrust we trust!
 
BC77008
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:09 pm

Quoting christao17 (Reply 7):
Having lived outside the US for the past six years, I try as hard as I can to avoid flying US airlines when heading back home - regardless of class of service! The problem, of course, starts once I touch down in the US. Such a sad state of affairs.

Pretentious snobbery is not something others find very attractive.
"He waited his whole damn life to take that flight. And as the plane crashed down he thought 'Well isn't this nice...'"
 
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fxramper
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:51 pm

Is this your first trip report? Either way, the a/c looks like crap as does the food. IFE looks like a joke. Maybe the service was better? I'd take B6 or VX on a transcon.   
 
travelin man
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:30 am

I challenge anyone to report a better "First Class" experience on a domestic EU trip. No offense, but "First Class" on United, no matter how decrepit it might be, is much better than any intra-EU First Class I've ever been on (and I've been on LH, KL, and BA).
 
ORDnHKG
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:53 am

Quoting fxramper (Reply 12):
I'd take B6 or VX on a transcon

It sounds like you are a leisure flyer.

If you don't care for miles, sure, LAX-IAD is 2500 mile, where are you going to use the miles from B6 or VX ? Not to mention they have very few destinations especially when it come to VX. Anyone fly the "legacy" carrier is for the miles, not for the service. And if I want the service, sure I wouldn't want B6 or VX, I would rather fly to YVR and take CX on YVR-JFK instead. Now that is the real service, hot meals in Y, extensive AVOD, miles ahead of B6 or VX.
 
planereality
Topic Author
Posts: 91
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:39 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 13):
Is this your first trip report?

Thats a negative fxramper -- LOL
Andiamo!
 
tommy767
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:54 pm

Quoting fxramper (Reply 12):
Is this your first trip report? Either way, the a/c looks like crap as does the food. IFE looks like a joke. Maybe the service was better? I'd take B6 or VX on a transcon.

What exactly do you expect? Have you seen some of the AA trip reports? The cabins are in terrible states compared to this one.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
MH017
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:40 pm

Quoting travelin man (Reply 13):
I challenge anyone to report a better "First Class" experience on a domestic EU trip. No offense, but "First Class" on United, no matter how decrepit it might be, is much better than any intra-EU First Class I've ever been on (and I've been on LH, KL, and BA).

When did you fly F-class on KLM ? 20 years ago ?

KLM abolished F-class long long time ago and only operate Business- and Ecocomy Classes within Europe; you cannot compare UA domestic F-class with KL european C-class, esp. the seats !
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
travelin man
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:17 pm

Quoting MH017 (Reply 17):
KLM abolished F-class long long time ago and only operate Business- and Ecocomy Classes within Europe; you cannot compare UA domestic F-class with KL european C-class, esp. the seats !

Yeah, that's my point. I said "First Class" but it's actually what KL (and the others) call "Business Class". And it is terrible. Much worse than the "Business" or "First" class on domestic US carriers.

The seats are just Economy class with the middle seat left empty.
 
GVAJFKflyer
Posts: 82
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:35 pm

Quoting nethkt (Reply 6):
UA F is full of foolish upgraders

Based on my limited experience, I was assuming all major US airlines (not only UA) tended to fill up their (domestic) first class cabins with "upgraders" (whom I would not necessarily call "foolish": who does not appreciate to be upgraded ?).

Quoting nethkt (Reply 6):
not really give you the premium atmosphere

It may be true that flying domestic in the U.S. is nothing "special", but, after all, it is (most of the time) efficient and often economic. That's already something.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 6):
Horrid seats, hideous food and lousy service on 5 hours flight.

It is true that UA (non-P.S.) domestic first class seats may not be the best ever (especially when someone reclines into you). But neither are AA's, for example. Both are decent in my opinion. Recently flew KOA-SFO in first with UA, and I was very happy with the food and the service, which was friendly and attentive. Also, I appreciated that meal orders seemed to be taken in some priority order (paid tickets first ? status-based ? I could not figure it out exactly, but it was nice).

Quoting nethkt (Reply 6):
Pain in the a** to fly domestic US flights.

Continental (now UA) has very nice first class seats fitted on the entire 757 fleet !
 
zhiao
Posts: 441
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:36 pm

While domestic F seats are way better vs Euro airlines, for some reason the food in the Euro airlines is on a higher scale. For instance, on a short 1 hr flight, you could get prawns, smoked salmon, and 4 other delicacies. On a US carrier you wont get that, let alone for a 1 hr flight.
 
chrisrad
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:18 am

Quoting travelin man (Reply 13):
I challenge anyone to report a better "First Class" experience on a domestic EU trip. No offense, but "First Class" on United, no matter how decrepit it might be, is much better than any intra-EU First Class I've ever been on (and I've been on LH, KL, and BA).

Here you go, TK, BUD-IST J class, don't know about me, but it looks better for a 1.5 hour flight....
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06375.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06388.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06389.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06390.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06392.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06393.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06394.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06395.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06396.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y22/chrisrad/Trip%202011/DSC06398.jpg
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
 
zhiao
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:52 am

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:16 pm

^That's not intra Europe, nor on a European airline.
 
Avianca
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:30 am

Quoting zhiao (Reply 22):
^That's not intra Europe, nor on a European airline.

well, IST airport is located on the European side... so the flights are intra Europe, also the most flights from IST or rest of Turkey to any place in Europe are much less than a LAX-IAD/JFK/EWR/BOS flight.

cheers
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
EK345
Posts: 126
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:07 am

Quoting kfitz (Reply 8):
If some of you who insist on taking pot shots from other countries would stop to think for a second, or dared actually fly the product, youd understand that this is the typical donestic F experience offered on ever domestic carrier

Actually, Virgin America flies that route and I'd contend that their First Class product and in-flight service rivals any International flag carrier. Perhaps that is why they ranked #5 on the following survey that came out last week.

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-40711682

EK345
"and miles to go before I sleep..."
 
travelin man
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:13 am

Quoting chrisrad (Reply 21):
Here you go, TK, BUD-IST J class, don't know about me, but it looks better for a 1.5 hour flight....

Interesting, no view of the actual seats. Maybe because they're the same exact terrible economy class seats that everyone else is sitting in.

Sorry, I can bring smoked salmon onto a plane for a few $$$, I cannot get a better seat.
 
chrisrad
Posts: 963
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2000 7:26 pm

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:32 am

Quoting travelin man (Reply 25):
Interesting, no view of the actual seats. Maybe because they're the same exact terrible economy class seats that everyone else is sitting in.

Because for a 1.5 hour flight you require a lie-flat bed in a suite with shower facilities in the lavatory?............

In any case I was trying to compare the catering.
Welcome aboard Malaysia Airlines! Winner of Best Cabin Staff 2001,2002,2003,2004,2007,2009,2012
 
nethkt
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RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:53 am

Cat flight, and I'm lovin' it.
Come on out 'UA lovers', come defend your airlines.

People, why compare a "FIRST CLASS" 5 hours intra-US flight vs 'BUSINESS CLASS' less than 2.5 hours flight?
It's halfway!!...

Maybe because of the seats, airlines don't even dare to give the name 'FIRST CLASS'...
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
briboy
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2001 1:47 am

RE: UA First: LAX-IAD (Quick W/ Pics)

Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:49 am

I think AC does it best domestically. Big seat, decent food—better than US domestic—and no pretension to call it "First Class". CO, DL, AA and UA should be ashamed calling the above "first class".

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